Wednesday, 10 October 2012

"Poetry Podium" unveiled in Dallas Road Gardens

Writer of the Winning Words poem, Freddie Granger, stands on top of the new sculpture in Dallas Road Gardens after its unveiling.

Lancaster’s latest sculpture is pure poetry.

The city’s newest piece of public art was officially unveiled last Friday (5th October) in Dallas Road Gardens - just in time for National Poetry Day.

The Winning Words sculpture, which takes the form of an Olympic podium, features a poem by Lancaster schoolgirl Freddie Granger, carved by Alan Ward who lives and works in the city.

Alan Ward with his 'poem podium'
People can step on to it, if they wish, and perhaps even have their photos taken on Lancaster’s very own Olympic podium intended as a permanent reminder of the 2012 London Olympics.

The unveiling was the culmination of the nationwide Winning Words project linking poetry and sport. Lancaster was one of only seven towns chosen to take part in the nationwide project and Freddie Granger, aged 11, penned the best poem to be entered in the local heat.

Five primary schools – Christ Church, Bowerham and the Steiner School in Lancaster; Quernmore School,  and St Mary’s & St Andrew’s School in Barton – took part in the project which saw poet Chris Jam working with and inspiring young pupils.

60 poems were eventually submitted to the competition and Freddie’s took Greek mythology as one of its themes as she and fellow pupils at Lancaster Steiner School were studying ancient Greece at the time. 

Sculptor, letter-carver and art tutor Alan Ward was then commissioned to create the artwork and over recent weeks has been working on it in the playground of Dallas Road Primary School.

The podium is Blade Street-based Alan's latest public art to go on display in Lancaster. Other works include "Lune" and "Thomas Gray", which are integral parts of the Millennium Park attractions.

Winning Words is a Forward Arts Foundation project, led locally by The Dukes in partnership with LitFest. The other poems by local schoolchildren which were shortlisted in the competition are on display in The Dukes café bar this week.

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